Starting a Blog: Tips I Wish I Knew From the Start

Starting a Blog

Thinking of starting a blog?  Learn the things I wish I would have known beofre I started mine!

"Blogging requires a serious amount of learning. I feel like I still learn something new every week that I wish I had been doing all along..." -said Sommer (author of the blog A Spicy Perspective) recently, on a SITS Featured Blogger interview .  Boy did that resonate with me.  Then flash forward to the next day, I woke up to an e-vite to my neighbor's new blog.  He's been wanting to start it for a while and mentioned a couple times over the last year that he had a few questions about blogging.

So all this got me to thinking about the sort of things I wish I had known from the jump off.  What would I want to share with him to help?  Why not share it with everyone?  I am not a blogging genius.  Haha, that may be obvious, but even so like Sommer said, "...I still learn something new every week..." But I can at least try to share what I have learned.  I jumped into blogging at the suggestion of a friend, and it was unbelievably off the cuff.  It went a little something like this. I knew nothing and that was frustrating.

Start with your own custom domain!

    • You don't know if you will like this Blogging thing, but chances are you will.  So you don't want to build any sort of a following only to find out once you are committed that the domain name you want is taken.  Pick one and stick with it. You can start for about $20 for a year!
    • If you don't like it, you are only out $20.00.
    • To help build your following, it's a lot easier to go by vs. . Ugh my fingers are aching.  Okay, not really (well yes really, only that's arthritis), but it's soooo much easier to remember Sublime Dream right?  

Hook up with a blogging network!

    • For me, finding SITS was a game changer! It taught me so much and helped me find where I belonged in the "blogosphere".
    • Finding people you want to follow and comment with builds relationships, which (to me) is the point of blogging.

Learn about social media

    • Learn how to use at least one platform really well.  Better to be a master of one than a jack of all platforms
    • Figure out what is going to help you, and what will just eat up your time.

Use a comment platform like Intense Debate

    • I love that you can reply to specific comments
    • The plug-ins are great, which leads me to...

Use the plug-ins available through intense debate like:

    • CommentLuv- and register your site with CommentLuv as well!
    • Spell Check
    • Facebook & Twitter share buttons- Go explore

Set your profile picture up with Gravatar

    • People will remember you better if they have a "face to go with the name".  I know I certainly remember other bloggers much better when I have an image that pops into my head when I see the name.

While there is surely a whole lot more to add, I think those are the basic starters, but I'll leave you with this:

    • You can't make blogging your whole life, or else you won't have a life to blog about. 
    • If you don't make time for it though... you will also quickly kill your momentum like this.

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